When is the last time you made an effort to explore middle England? The coasts and peaks may hold plenty of excitement and enjoyment, but it is easy to forget just how many pretty towns there are elsewhere. You will find a whole bunch of them just off the M40 motorway, which is why you should consider taking a trip along there in the coming months.
There are historic market towns aplenty, meaning you will be bombarded with beautiful buildings, places to eat and many pleasant attractions. In fact, you will probably be wondering why you haven’t visited sooner!
So get all of the details sorted from accommodation to car insurance (have a look at Auto and General UK if you need a new policy) - and then you can pack your bags and head off on your English adventure...
Based in Warwickshire, Warwick is a town that sits on the River Avon. The currently population of this town is around 30,114, but there has been human activity there since the Neolithic period. The famous Warwick Castle was established in 1068 during the Norman Conquest, and even the boys school (Warwick School) claims to be the oldest in the country. This all means that there is plenty of history to uncover, even after the Great Fire of Warwick which happened in 1964.
Perhaps most well-known for the connection to Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon is a big attraction in the area. It is known locally as Stratford, but it shouldn’t be confused with the area in London! This town is located in south Warwickshire, also on the River Avon. There are around 4.9 million visitors who come to Stratford-upon-Avon each year to soak up culture and history. William Shakespeare, the playwright and poet, was born here - and there is also the Royal Shakespeare Theatre to see.
In the Cherwell District of Oxfordshire is the market town of Banbury. It is predominantly a retail centre for the surrounding rural areas, but there are other reasons to visit too. One of these is the famous Banbury cake (similar to an Eccles cake), which should be on your list of things to try.
The historic market town of Bicester is one of the fastest growing towns in Oxfordshire, which isn’t surprising due to its location near the motorway and the availability of rail links. However if you like grand buildings, you will love Bicester due to the collection of churches in the area. You’ll want to bring your camera along to capture the beauty of the town.
Finally, don’t forget about Oxford, the jewel of the M40. Whether you want to absorb in the feeling of academia, or take a punt boat on the River Cherwell, Oxford will be the city for you to explore. It is a good idea to make use of one of the park and ride buses, as the city centre can be notoriously slow for regular motorists to navigate. However it will be worth it when you wander around taking it all in.